The military has responded to a report by Amnesty International which accused some military officers of killing over 8,000 people during the counter-terrorism operations against Boko Haram, labelling it as blackmail.
In a statement by the Director, Defence Information, Maj. Gen. Chris Olukolade in Abuja on Wednesday, the military defended that all officers mentioned by AI in its report, saying they had no reason whatsoever to indulge in the allegations made against them.
“It is unfortunate that the organisation just went out to gather names of specified senior officers in a calculated attempt to rubbish their reputation as well as the image of the military. The action, no doubt, depicts more of a premeditated indictment aimed at discrediting the country for whatever purpose,” Olukolade stated.
The DHQ spokesman noted that each of the previous allegations made by AI had been thoroughly responded to and cleared in the public and officially, adding that the latest allegations smacked of extreme bias, “which is disturbing coming from an otherwise reputable organisation that is expected to be just and fair to all.”
He said, “It is curious that a body that has never been able to seriously condemn terror in Nigeria now claims to have done an extensive research with the aim of discrediting the nation’s effort at curtailing terror.
“It is clear that Amnesty International becomes more active in presenting distracting allegations whenever the terrorists are losing ground in the battle. It is very unfortunate that Amnesty International has used this report to further confirm its questionable interest in the counter-terrorism effort in Nigeria.”
Olukolade further urged the organisation to “stop playing the role of an irritant coming up loudly only when the terrorists are losing out and remaining silent or complacent whenever the terrorist heightens its atrocities.”
He knocked AI for relying on records provided by disgruntled elements who have axe to grind with the system for its reports.
“It is unfair to rely on records or reports provided by certain disgruntled elements or faceless collaborators who have axe to grind with the system as evidence against officers who have been conscientiously doing their duty to defend the nation and her citizens,” he added.